Minimizing Food Waste, Maximizing Meals in Minutes

Day Two of our recent move found two pans unpacked and an almost empty fridge. Most pantry items were still tucked away in poorly labeled boxes (our fault sorta - we own that). Quick dash to Adams Fair Acre Farms for humanely raised pork, a roast in fact. Longer cooking times undisturbed in the oven = more hours available for breaking down boxes and arranging furniture. We roasted a 2 lb. pork loin with carrots, potatoes, parsnips and red onions for 1) Dinner, along with baby arugula salad 2) lunch for two days, cold pork sliced thin, slathered with chipotle pepper sauce and nestled on toasted onion rolls with Vegenaise and more baby greens.

That bucatini turned up again as a pasta gratin, served for lunch along with arugula, carrot and feta salad and pistachios. Above, our old and dear friend from Woodstock Ruth Kopelman joined for a quick meal amidst unpacking clutter. Ruth's a vegetarian so we saved the remaining pork bits (and its companion roasted veggies) for a spicy stew and dinner the following night.

 If you find yourself with extra roast meat and veggies, try a Spanish style stew like we did. This should work well with either roast pork or beef or even chicken. Start by frying 1 sliced onion in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil until browned. Toss in a clove or two of minced garlic and a sliced green chili. Cook for a minute then add 1 14-oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes (or regular ones). Add 2 cups of chicken broth and a heaping teaspoon of smoked paprika. Simmer for 10 minutes before adding 1 lb. roasted meat, cut into bite-size cubes. Cook on a low flame for another 15 minutes then add the roasted veggies, chopped if needed. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and 1 T. sugar. Add a pinch or two of ground cinnamon, cook for another 5 minutes then serve hot. Note: For a Moorish-influenced flavor, add 1/2 t. ground cumin if desired.

We just discovered here upstate orange cauliflower, supposedly packed with three times the nutrients of its paler brethren.  Most exciting is that the veggie retains its lovely color even when roasted at high temperatures. Cafe Drake broiled ours with ras el hanout seasoning and lots of panko breadcrumbs for a satisfying crunch.

What does everyone buy besides a loaf of crusty French bread when moving into a new home and kitchen? If you're Cafe Drake the answer is veggie samosas from the local Indian take-out and locally grown, late season broccoli rabe. These ingredients too were stretched over several meals in varying guises. Stale bread proved a boon: lightly toasted and tossed with grape tomatoes, feta cheese, sweet onions and lingering baby greens to become a delectable bread salad - at home above with both toor dal and roasted chicken thighs.


Popular Posts